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Associated Press Sues FBI For Solving Bomb Threat With Fake News Story

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In 2007, the FBI thwarted a bomb threat by posing as the Associated Press. Now, the AP is filing a lawsuit for misappropriation of their name.

In order to stop a bomb threat from a then 15-year-old young man, the FBI sent him a link to a fake AP article that gave the agency access to the suspect’s computer. When the AP found out about the ruse they sued the U.S. Department of Justice for damaging their name.

“The FBI both misappropriated the trusted name of The Associated Press and created a situation where our credibility could have been undermined on a large scale,” said AP General Counsel Karen Kaiser.

“It is improper and inconsistent with a free press for government personnel to masquerade as The Associated Press or any other news organization,” said Kaiser. “The FBI may have intended this false story as a trap for only one person. However, the individual could easily have reposted this story to social networks, distributing to thousands of people, under our name, what was essentially a piece of government information.”

But FBI Director James Comey argued the tactic was “proper and appropriate” given the agency’s guidelines at the time. Comey said regulations have increased since 2007 and a similar operation would now require more higher-level approvals than before, but it would still be lawful.

Comey added that despite the AP’s lawsuit, the agency may very well pose as a news agency in the future, though each instance should be “done carefully with significant supervision, if it’s going to be done.”

(This article was a submission from freelance writer Brent Rogers)

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • loupgarous June 2, 2016, 3:27 pm

    I wonder why the Associated Press is suing the FBI. Even after the Obama administration wire-tapped their office phone lines, the AP went back to reporting Obama’s lies as straight news and misleading the American public on his behalf with some of the most cravenly-slanted pro-government news coverage outside North Korea. Only the McClatchy News Services and the New York Times syndicate are, among supposedly non-political news sources (we expect this crap from The Nation and The New Republic, after all) more slavish in seeking not to offend an administration which has broken the law and faith with the American people more profoundly than any since the Grant administration.

    When old-Left figures like Nat Hentoff are asking “why hasn’t Barack Obama been impeached yet?” (Hentoff was perhaps the single most vocal mainstream critic of Richard Nixon’s during Watergate), we didn’t read about it in the Associated Press’s reports, but in little-read Internet fora such as the Independent Journal Review (https://www.ijreview.com/2014/01/109908-liberal-icon-obama-destructive-dangerous-president-weve-ever/). The Associated Press would never have run a story headlined “Liberal Icon Urges Impeachment: Obama ‘The Most Destructive, Dangerous President We’ve Ever Had,” because they know from CBS News’ experience when Sharyn Atkisson tried to report objectively that their access to the White House would have been curtailed.

    It’s hypocritical for the AP to sue the Obama adminstration’s FBI at this late date. Don’t they like what they helped create?

  • loupgarous June 2, 2016, 3:11 pm

    The Associated Press is learning that when you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. Even after the Obama administration wiretapped their offices, the AP went back (after a week or two of understandable and uncharacteristically honest outrage) to carrying Barack Obama’s water for him, glossing over his misdeeds committed against people who are not the Associated Press and reporting Presidential press releases as straight news. The AP is learning the cost of cozying up to domestic tyrants – they don’t respect their sycophants one bit more than their enemies.

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